FORMER police dog handler Neil Sampson has survived being stabbed in the head, won thousands of pounds on Deal or No Deal and last month scored the trip of a lifetime to watch the F1 in Azerbaijan after winning a radio competition.

Given the 54-year-old West Swindon dad’s impressive track record, we ask – is this the town’s luckiest man?

He told the Swindon Advertiser: “I’m lucky. I know I’m lucky because there are people who get stabbed once and they don’t walk away from it.

“I had seven separate stab wounds and I’m here talking to you.”

Father-of-three Neil was stabbed in 2008 as he responded to reports of a knifeman in Liden. The former police officer’s German Shepherd dog, Anya, was also stabbed. In 2010, the dog was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal, the animal equivalent of the George Cross, for her bravery.

Neil, who appeared on Deal or No Deal after applying while off-work recovering from his stabbing injury, left the police force five years ago. He took up a job with Swindon luxury car dealership Dick Lovett delivering top-of-the-range vehicles to customers around the country.

He listens to Chris Evans’ radio show on his long drives. When the veteran presenter moved from Radio 2 to Virgin Radio, Neil switched stations too.

After hearing about a recent competition to win tickets to see the Formula One in Baku, Azerbaijan, Neil applied. He said: “You think for a day or two, maybe I’ll get a text from the show. But then you forget about it.”

When the show called him almost three weeks ago, he was in a Bristol showroom having driven a box-fresh car down from Swindon earlier that morning. He was told by a researcher he was in with a shot at winning tickets to the F1 grand prix if he could correctly answer three questions live on air.

When they called back, Neil was parked up off the M4: “Lo and behold, there I am at Leigh Delamere services talking to Chris Evans.”

Somewhat to Neil’s own surprise, he answered all three questions right. There was a moment of stunned silence as Chris Evans told him he’d be flying to Baku the next week.

“It was shock. You don’t know what to think. You enter competitions to win, obviously, but you rarely win,” he said.

Despite the entreaties of his F1-mad son, Mark, and daughters Kirsty and Amy, Neil took his wife of more than 30-years, Mandy.

As well as track-side seats, the couple enjoyed the tour of a lifetime around the McClaren team garage.

“The place was amazing,” he said.

With more F1 tickets up for grabs on the Chris Evans show, Neil urged those thinking about entering to get on and do it: “You only have to be lucky once.”